AF LRS-B Contract May Be Awarded Before Year End | ULA Keeps Launching; $882.1M Contract Mod | Kenya, Cameroon, Pakistan to get UAVs through Foreign Military SalesOct 01, 2015 00:19 UTC
- A contract award for the Air Force’s Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) may be forthcoming in another two months. The program has been pushed back several times, including in July, and before that, May. The competing contractors submitted their designs early in September, following the Air Force releasing a Request for Proposals in July 2014.
- The Lockheed Martin-Boeing joint venture United Launch Alliance has been awarded a $882.1 million contract modification for continued services under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. The company will continue to launch satellites for the Air Force with Atlas V and Delta IV rockets, with no details on the number of launches this modification covers. The $612 billion FY2016 NDAA bill released on Tuesday would allow ULA to use four more Russian-produced RD-180 engines in addition to the current five operated by the company; the firm had, however, argued that it requires fourteen engines.
- Both House and Senate armed forces committees have agreed to fund the development of UCLASS unmanned aircraft in the draft FY2016 NDAA bill, in addition to more Tomahawk cruise missiles, F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marines and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for the Navy. The draft bill also includes for the provision of a fourth MQ-4C Triton UAV.
- Chile is buying seven light aircraft configured for special mission applications, for use by the country’s navy and naval police. The Vulcanair P68 Observer 2 aircraft will be supplied in 2016/2017 and come equipped with infrared sensors and maritime Automatic Identification Receivers.
- Lithuania has ordered 21 ex-Bundeswehr PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery systems from Germany in a $65.4 million deal. Reports from April indicated the Lithuanians’ interest in the 155mm system, with delivery scheduled between 2016 and 2019. Lithuania is also acquiring 26 M577A3 mobile command post vehicles and six BPZ-2 recovery vehicles, also from Germany. These support vehicles are included in the contract for the artillery systems, with $18.2 million being paid directly to the German Defence Ministry and the remaining $47.2 million going towards modernization of the vehicles, as well as training and support infrastructure.
- Denmark is reportedly looking to buy a fifth C-130J transporter, rejecting the A400M in the process. Plans to buy the Airbus design were reportedly dropped on financial grounds, with operating costs deemed too high by the Danish defense ministry.
- Russia has completed deliveries of BMP-3 armored vehicles to Kuwait. The Gulf state purchased an undisclosed number BMP-3s along with BMP-2s and Smerch rocket launchers in 1994; a deal estimated to value $800 million. The now-aging platform has been modernized in recent years, with the Russian Army deciding in May to purchase hundreds of the vehicles despite the unveiling of the new Kurganets-25 IFV, with serial production of the new vehicle scheduled for 2017.
- Kenya and Cameroon are buying Insitu ScanEagle UAVs through Foreign Military Sales contracts awarded on Tuesday. The two countries will each receive one ScanEagle, along with launchers, recovery systems, training kits and spares through contracts valued at $9.9 million and $9.4 million respectively. Pakistan will also receive an undisclosed number of the UAVs through a $15.2 million Foreign Military Sales contract.
Asia & Pacific
- India will induct seven squadrons (112 to 126 aircraft) of Tejas Mk.I-A light combat aircraft, despite the aircraft’s Final Operating Clearance delayed in July until next year. Despite improvements to the heavily-criticized original indigenous Tejas Mk.I design, the Mk.I-A still has a fair share of problems, including issues with the aircraft’s radar and weapon payload. The fighters are slated for delivery from next year and are intended to provide the Indian Air Force with a much-needed air defense capability.
- The Indian Navy has commissioned the stealth frigate INS Kochi into service, the second of two Kolkata-class (Project 15A). The ships comes equipped with BrahMos surface attack missiles, AK630 CIWS and indigenous torpedo and rocket launchers. The Kochi also operates the MF-STAR radar and vertical-launch LR-SAM air defense missile systems. The Indian Navy has also inducted three Intermediate Support Vessels, with these planned to patrol the country’s western coast.
- An Il-76MD making a low pass over some Su-25s: